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U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

Duties (Sec. 300.169)

Comment: A few commenters recommended requiring States to submit any rules or regulations related to children with disabilities to the State advisory panel for consideration before the rules are finalized. One commenter requested requiring panel members to take positions on State proposed rules and regulations regarding the education of children with disabilities and offer their views to the appropriate State agencies.

Discussion: Section 612(a)(21)(D) of the Act clearly specifies the duties of the State advisory panel and these duties are accurately reflected in Sec. 300.169. Paragraph (b) of this section clarifies that the advisory panel must comment publicly on any State proposed rules or regulations regarding the education of children with disabilities. We believe Sec. 300.169(b) is sufficient to ensure that the advisory panel has the opportunity to consider any State rules or regulations before they are final and, accordingly, further regulatory language is unnecessary. Further, we believe it is inappropriate to require that panel members "take positions" on proposed rules and regulations because to do so would be overly controlling of the advisory panel and may impact the panel's ability to effectively meet its statutory responsibility of providing public comment on State proposed rules and regulations.

Changes: None.

Comment: Many commenters suggested retaining current Sec. 300.652(b), which requires State advisory panels to provide advice for educating students with disabilities in adult correctional facilities. A few of these commenters noted that students in adult correctional facilities are members of one of the most vulnerable populations.

Discussion: Given the breadth of the State advisory panel's statutory responsibilities we removed from the regulations all nonstatutory mandates on the State advisory panel, including the provision in current Sec. 300.652(b), regarding advising on the education of eligible students with disabilities who have been convicted as adults and have been incarcerated in adult prisons. We believe placing such nonstatutory mandates on the State advisory panel may hinder the advisory panel's ability to effectively provide policy guidance with respect to special education and related services for children with disabilities in the State. There is nothing, however, that would prevent a State from assigning other responsibilities to its State advisory panel, as long as those other duties do not prevent the advisory panel from carrying out its responsibilities under the Act.

Changes: None.